|Boozing Brits who tank up too much may be thrown in private cells and asked to pay up for excesses
Drunks in Britain who can’t stay on their feet should be held in special privately-run clinics rather than a police cell and made to pay for the trouble once they sober up, police have proposed.
The idea had earlier been proposed by British Prime Minister David Cameron as well.
In Britain, where reputed footballers, cricketers, prime ministerial spokesmen and even popular singers routinely admit alcohol addiction, alcohol-related hospital admission topped 1.3 million between 2011 and 2012, studies have shown. In the past 40 years, deaths from liver cirrhosis, have rocketed by 500 percent. There has also been a rise in alcohol-related deaths of women in their 30s and 40s.
In Glasgow, where deaths of working age people are the highest in Europe, fatalities
of 34-year-olds from alcohol is 30 per 100,000, studies have shown.
Deaths caused by drinking and driving accidents soared last year to 290 people, according to the latest data from the Department for Transport.
Faced with such sobering figures, British police chiefs have proposed setting up privately run “drunk tanks'' to house revellers who drink so much they cannot look after themselves – and they would be given a bill for their care the next day.
Adrian Lee, a chief constable who leads police policy on alcohol harm, argued that too much time is wasted by officers and health workers dealing with people who have consumed so much alcohol they require medical treatment.
He made the suggestion at the launch of a new campaign aimed at highlighting alcohol harm, amid ongoing concerns about the pressure drinkers are putting on accident and emergency services and police.
“I do not see why the police service or the health service should pick up the duty of care for someone who has chosen to go out and get so drunk that they cannot look after themselves,'' said Lee, chief constable of Northamptonshire Police, north of London.
“So why don't we take them to a drunk cell owned by a commercial company and get the commercial company to look after them during the night until they are sober?
“When that is over we will issue them with a fixed penalty and the company will be able to charge them for their care, which would be at quite significant cost and that might be a significant deterrent.'' AFP/The Standard